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How To Care for African American Hair

Not all hair are created equal. For some African American people, taking care of their hair is a battle that they most often lose, which is why they resort to just sweeping it up into a ponytail or keeping it hidden under a cap. African American hair is structured differently. Unlike Caucasian hair, or hair of other nationalities, African American hair is kinkier and curlier, and thus the oil that softens the hair, which is naturally secreted through the scalp, has a much more difficult time spreading to the tips of the hair strands. This type of hair is not as easy to handle as shown in movies where men and women would tidy it up in braids or have it silky straight to their liking. African American women have found it more convenient to don a wig rather than use their natural hair.

Here are a few tips to tame that mane:

To make your hair as manageable as possible, always remember to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to soften and tame the frizziness of your hair. Since African American hair is fragile, you need not shampoo every day, as this will only damage already delicate hair. To keep hair strong, make sure to moisturize and condition hair with hair creams and organic oils like pomegranate seed oil, but don’t overuse products with mineral oil or petroleum.

African American hair is best handled when damp. Combing it when it is dry will just cause the hair to easily break, especially when your tangles snag in the comb. It is best you use a wide toothcomb and brush your hair right after coming out of the shower. Forget using those combs that have very fine teeth, as these will only cause more frustration. If you need to comb your hair when dry, be gentle and spray on some water. You can also use leave-on hair conditioners or hair creams.

Going natural is always a big plus, but if you’d like to go out and try something new with your hair, you can try having it permed or straightened, but make sure to have it done by a professional at a salon. It is important to have the procedure done by a professional because heat, combined with perming, does damage to your hair. Have your hair conditioned at least once a month for a hot oil treatment and a deep hair cuticle cleanse.

You can do the hot oil treatment at home to cut down on expenses. While at home, take extra care of your mane by sectioning it and tying it up in a scarf. When going to sleep, wrap a satin scarf over your hair to avoid split ends caused by the hair rubbing against rough pillow covers and to avoid tangling.

When going out, try to keep out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If you would like to take a day off at the beach, try putting on some leave-on hair conditioner to protect it from the sun’s rays.

Don’t be lax with your hair regimen and keep your hair in great condition.

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